Working out, exercising and getting your body moving is for everyone! Even if you’ve never set foot in a gym or have been leading a more sedentary lifestyle, it’s never too late to start a fitness program. Exercise has countless benefits outside of weight loss. Exercise releases endorphins, which help you cope better with the stressors in your daily life. That’s why you may find your mood improves after exercising. Exercising also helps you feel accomplished. Even just showing up for a workout is a commitment to taking care of yourself, which should make you feel great.
The big question is, how do you get started? It’s not as daunting as you might think. You can create a program for yourself, or if you need a little help and inspiration, through virtual fitness coaching, you can get personalized workout plans that actually meet you at your skill level. Here’s a beginner’s guide to starting an exercise program.
How do you start a fitness program if you’re “out of shape”?
Fitness programs aren’t just for buff people trying to get more ripped, even though sometimes that’s how fitness program advertisements can look and feel. In fact, the most effective programs are designed for people who aren’t at the height of their physical fitness. Exercise is a journey, not a destination.
You can modify and scale exercises up or down based on your individual needs. If walking for thirty minutes is enough of a challenge, you don’t have to run yet. Take the time to build up your endurance. Maybe challenge yourself to walk on a treadmill at an incline on days you’re feeling up for something more strenuous.
The best way to start a fitness program if you’re out of shape is by listening to your body. If you don’t like a certain type of exercise or feel it’s too challenging, even with a modification, move on. There’s no point in getting discouraged. Focus on what you can do and make building up to that exercise a goal.
Create a personalized workout plan that’s individualized and enjoyable.
Making a personalized workout plan is exciting! You get to choose your own adventure. When you’re creating your plan, you’ll want the exercises to cover three major components: endurance, flexibility and strength. This will ensure that your fitness program is well-rounded and that you’re getting the most out of the time you’ve spent moving your body.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, you should be shooting for “at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week.” Aerobic exercises will count as your endurance component. To accomplish this, you can walk, run, bike, dance, kickbox, or any activity you enjoy that gets your heart pumping.
You don’t have to bench 200 pounds to do strength training. Instead, the recommendation is to work all of your major muscle groups twice a week. If your muscles aren’t fatigued after 12 to 15 reps, you should add weight or resistance. You may actually be surprised by the amount of weight you should be squatting or lifting to see the best results.
Finally, add flexibility exercises to your rotation. You can flexibility exercises into your fitness program by incorporating yoga into your weekly schedule. If you’re not feeling a whole class dedicated to flexibility, incorporate lunges, body twists and side bends into your cool downs. Stretching after working out helps you recover faster, so don’t skip out.
What are the benefits of virtual fitness coaching?
If you haven’t been exercising because you’ve been too busy to go to the gym, or have been avoiding the gym altogether due to the pandemic, virtual fitness coaching is a great path forward. A virtual fitness coach allows you to exercise in the comfort of your own home while still receiving feedback and guidance that will help you as you start your fitness journey. Not sure how to modify exercises for your skill level? Have concerns about committing to your fitness plan? Virtual fitness coaches can maintain your motivation and can help you figure out the best exercises for you that are both challenging and attainable.
Finding a virtual fitness coach doesn’t have to be a barrier to beginning your fitness journey. In fact, virtual fitness coaching will help you identify and execute on a well-rounded exercise plan with rest days included, so you don’t burn out. Similar to an exercise partner, a virtual fitness coach can boost your workout gains. You’ve absolutely got this!
Have any questions? Contact us to learn more about how we can help you train!